Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reflections and Remembrance

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (New International Version)

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This passage was one of several used by Dan Cox, Senior Pastor at Canyon View Vineyard Church, when be preached on "A Time to Reflect" this past weekend. Another passage he used was a more familiar and a favorite one of mine (in part because it inspired one of the better songs of the 60's), to help illustrate the plight he found himself in.

Part of this sermon was to announce that he is taking a sabbatical for 3 months, and admitted that he is "burned out". He went on to list some of his weaknesses with regard to how he approached leading the church, and how he felt the need to ask permission to take some time off.

I identified with just about everything Dan had to say about weaknesses, including when he said, "When you have a work ethic that defines your self-worth, then you need permission".
Truer words have not been said, at least to describe my approach to things. Jan's illness and the needs of my family have provided a much needed re-direction, but I feel I need to be reminded of my weaknesses, so that I may remain strong in those directions that truly matter.

Dan and his wife Cheryl have been at the helm of CVVC for the better part of 25 years, and have steered the church through phenomenal growth. The church recently held a celebration of their 25th anniversary; Cheryl, who has been fighting Multiple Sclerosis for several years, was not there. Through the quiet grapevine of a congregation of this size came the somewhat expected information that Cheryl's condition has worsened, perhaps requiring 24-hour care.

Please include Dan and Cheryl in your thoughts and prayers for healing, strength, and renewal.

I can identify somewhat with some of the difficulties that Dan is experiencing, and although Jan has been feeling better I must sometimes reflect upon what God's will is for her, and how that will affect myself and Evan.

I have also received other reminders of my weaknesses in past days and weeks. While I am not yet as strong as Paul to "boast all the more gladly" about them, I know that I will do all I can to keep them from being impediments to becoming more of what God intends me to be.

School safety continues to be at the forefront, as well it should be. Evan tells me that a review of emergency and lockdown procedures is under way at GJHS and other schools. The Sentinel had a good article in Wednesday's paper that discussed safety and access policies from an administrative and practical perspective, and Jonathan Vigliotti of KJCT pulled off a rare (at least for around here) investigative reporting coup when he dressed in regular clothes and took his hidden camera for an unchallenged stroll through a few high schools. Online access to the two-part series can be located here.

Hopefully the message is being delivered to staff at the schools now that if an adult is seen in the school without a visitor pass, that person needs to be challenged. We'll see what other changes and amplifications are in the offing. In the meantime, the girls of the Nickle Mines school are on my mind. I sometimes associate real life with the movies I've seen. This whole episode reminded me of The Village and Witness.

I pray that those who are unhappy and unfulfilled will find a measure of happiness in their lives, if in no small part to spare our most precious and innocent resource.

A note of thanks to jovial_cynic for allowing the use of his "Bloggers Rights" button. It's a nice addition, and carries an important message. He has another nice one for Save The Internet.

Thanks also to Ralph for the last two paragraphs of his October 4 post. I nearly fell out of my chair. Somewhere up there Gilda Radner is smiling.

May all of you find your strength in humility and service to others.

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